God’s Love in Action: Emergency Homeless Shelter
Posted: February 18, 2019
Article Written By Randy Brandt, Pastor
Did you make a New Year’s resolution?
Are you still resolved?
One that we try to do all year long is to make a difference in the lives of others through acts of service. Again this winter, SOTV is partnering with other Dakota county churches and organizations to provide short term, emergency housing from November through April.
Did you know that homelessness in the Twin Cities and suburbs has grown steadily over the last 20 years? Churches and Dakota County leadership responded by creating a temporary shelter during the coldest months, rotating locations through different churches. Last year, the Dakota County Shelter served 229 individuals, staying in six different host churches for up to 60 days. Efforts are underway to find a permanent location available throughout the year.
As an active partner in this effort, SOTV sponsors dinners on various evenings during the winter, contributing to the average shelter costs of $1,300 per day, and encouraging involvement as volunteers (see opportunities on our website: sotv.org/shelter).
Inadequate housing in our community is often an invisible reality to many of us. But just listen to the voices of those who have used the shelter:
My husband and I used the shelter last year, and everyone from the churches to the staff up were wonderful. We were treated with respect and dignity, which means a lot when you’re without a home. Today I thank them as my husband and I are now in our own apartment after eight months of being without a place to live. - Vikki
The best people to work with when you have nowhere to go is where they treat you with dignity and not once will judge you for being homeless. – Danielle
(The Dakota County Shelter) has been extremely helpful and caring towards my husband and myself, as well as many other individuals who have faced homelessness this winter. They have been respectful and non-judgmental through the whole process of giving us a place to stay. - Colleen
Are you interested in making a difference? You are needed to provide a meal, help serve dinner, be trained as an overnight volunteer, do laundry, be part of the moving and set-up crew, or to even donate items. Right now the shelter is requesting donations of long underwear and sweatpants for men and women, plus men’s underwear .
We praise God for our local efforts to be God’s love in our county. Find out more at sotv.org/shelter. The shelter phone line (651.319.2153) is answered from 2:00 pm to 8:00 am on weekdays. You can also follow “Matrix Housing Services” on Facebook.